Islamists aren’t the only adherents trying to capitalize on the emerging culture clash. What better way to reintroduce Europe to its roots than to reintroduce Europe to its roots? The grays will appreciate the nostalgia and the kids might have their curiosity piqued. A more demanding form of Catholicism is Benedict’s best bet for a revival, paradoxically: the new-agey sects seem to be hemorrhaging members while evangelical Christianity and Islam are doing quite well around the world. If you’re seeking spiritual discipline, it stands to reason that you’d prefer a religion that challenges you.
The Pope’s walking a neat line lately. He inserts critical quotations about Islam into his speeches — then adds footnotes later to politely distance himself from them. He plans a trip to Turkey to “further the dialogue” — then reminds the faithful that identity trumps dialogue. It’s all guaranteed to provoke the perpetually aggrieved, but it impresses Europeans. And with every new hysterical overreaction, a few more come back towards the fold.
No wonder he’s become a target.
Meanwhile in the UK, “peaceful” Islamists Hizb ut-Tahrir are outraged that the British government wants to cut off state support to radical Muslim groups. How will Abu Hamza afford a $400,000 homes if he has to pay his own $500,000 legal bill? All Britons are victims, it seems, but some are more victimized than others. Alas.